John Tejada – Parabolas (Kompakt)

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There’s something strange writing about this latest album from the prolific John Tejada. It could have been made anywhere between the early 1990s and now. In fact, its melodic progressions and structure remind me most of early era Jochem Paap (Speedy J) and that mid 1990s rubbery primary colour Cologne techno of Jorg Burger’s project as The Modernist.

The first half of the album brought back vivid memories of that long gone era, a few years before Napster irrevocably changed the scarcity culture of electronic music. The opener, ‘Farther and Fainter’ is classic Burger and the ambient tracks – ‘The Dream’ and ‘The Honest Man’ – could almost be from one those Fax label releases of 1994/5. Then there are tinges of Selected Ambient Works 88-92 era Aphex Twin, most obviously on the latter tracks ‘Unstable Condition’ and ‘Hollow Hemispheres’.

Being old enough to remember these sounds the first time around – which themselves owed a lot to a fusion of early 80s synth pop and the plaintive strings of Detroit’s first wave – Parabolas seems uncomfortably nostalgic. Accomplished but nostalgic ahead of its time.

Seb Chan

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About Author

Seb Chan founded Cyclic Defrost Magazine in 1998 with Dale Harrison. He handed over the reins at the end of 2010 but still contributes the occasional article and review.

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